One of the biggest pieces of Florida real estate news recently took place. The “Winter White House” which belonged to the Kennedy family for years and then to merchant banker John Castle, Castle Harlan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has now been sold. The oceanfront compound in Palm Beach was sold was sold to Jane Goldman for $31 million.
Interestingly, the town never granted landmark protection to the house, but the buyer says that she will be keeping the residence intact. A confidentiality agreement, however, prevents any of the parties involved from commenting.
The Castles purchased the property for $4.9 million in 1995 from the Kennedy family. They underwent a two-year renovation to add air conditioning for the first time and to carefully preserve several of the rooms to look as they had during President Kennedy’s era when he lived there with first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and their two young children.
The home has 15,347 square feet of living space, 11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and three half-baths. The Kennedys actually fought against landmark status a number of times as they were worried that it would make the property more difficult to sell. Today, there is a high perimeter wall and wooden gate which are the only parts of the property that are landmarked.
The home was originally bought by the Kennedys in 1933 by Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. from the Wanamakers. They were a Philadelphia department-store family. The two-story home was designed for Rodman Wanamaker II by society architect Addison Mizner and was originally named “La Querida.” The Castles called the estate “Castillo del Mar” or castle by the sea.
The estate has quite a history as the location where Kennedy Sr. had his legal residence as of 1941. He frequently swam in the pool and John F. Kennedy is said to have written his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, at the house while recovering from back surgery in 1956. Many members of the Kennedy clan played touch football on the lawn and Jacqueline Kennedy recuperated from her 1960 birth to John Jr. at the house.
Certainly, the home has a long and lush history as it moves from the ownership of John K. Castle of Castle Harland to Jane Goldman.